MIA was founded in the 1960’s under the name, ‘Mid-America Montessori Teacher Preparation Center’ (MAMTEC) by Dr. Helen K. Billings. After earning her Ed.D. in Education, Dr. Billings enrolled in Montessori training in Italy in 1964. Through her unceasing energy and dynamic speaking ability, MAMTEC became the largest Montessori training program in Missouri and Kansas from the late 1960’s until 1972.
Today 5 MIA teacher preparation centers are certified by MIA to conduct programs. Hundreds of MIA teachers and schools throughout the world are assisting children to reach their full potential development, cognitively, socially, spiritually, and emotionally. We have a rich heritage dating back to Dr. Maria Montessori who taught us to discover and follow the child.
In 1972 MAMTEC became the Montessori Institute of America (MIA). Dr. Billings felt Montessori was truly a lamp of learning.
The Montessori Institute of America is an international organization with members in over six countries led by a board of directors from three continents.
With the demand for qualified Montessori teachers growing, the Montessori Institute of America continues to be a leader in preparing adults to meet those demands by training teachers and assisting them to find teaching positions in schools across the globe.
Currently MIA has five teacher preparation centers preparing men and women to become world class Montessori teachers. While MIA is based in the United States, our training programs reach far beyond our borders into Guangzhou China, Manilla Philippines, Hanoi Vietnam, and Taintan Taiwan. New centers will be opening in Beijing, China, and Nairobi, Kenya soon.
We are changing the world, one child at a time.
While most educational curriculums focus only on the intellectual, physical, social, and emotional aspects of a child, The Montessori Institute of America recognizes the importance Dr. Montessori placed on the spiritual development of each child. E.M. Standing wrote about Montessori’s teachings on the children’s atrium in his book The Child in the Church.
In her book, The Religious Potential of the Child, Sophia Cavalletti described children from ages three to six, discovering some of the mysteries of God by using materials to explore their faith called The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd. Included in most of the MIA Teacher Education Programs are the “Child and Faith” lessons modeled after Montessori’s Catechesis of the Good Shepherd.
Vision & Mission
Our Mission is to provide a harmonious, global organization to support Montessori philosophy through teacher preparation, schools, and individual members.
We advocate the development of the whole child, recognizing Dr. Montessori’s emphasis on the spiritual dimension of the child and adult.
What is Montessori?
Montessori education is a philosophy of how children learn based on the research and teachings of Dr. Maria Montessori. Her child-centered educational approach is based the on the scientific observations of children from birth to adulthood. Her educational method is in use today in thousands of Montessori schools and dozens of teacher education programs in a number of public as well as private schools throughout the world.
Dr. Montessori believed her mission was a calling was from God to free children from the tyranny of the misguided educational notions of her day. She trained other adults to observe children and use the materials she developed.